National News

UK Torture Review

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is an international human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations that entered into force in 1987. Its purpose is to prevent the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ill-treatment).

States that have signed up to the Convention against Torture are required to report to the UN on their progress towards implementing the treaty every four years. In April 2019, the UK will be reviewed by the UN Committee against Torture as part of its sixth periodic review.

REDRESS is coordinating and facilitating a joint civil society shadow report to the Committee against Torture to provide an alternative, fact-based view of the measures taken by the UK to implement its obligations under the Convention against Torture. We will be holding in-person consultation events for civil society organisations across England and Wales as well as a call for written evidence throughout October 2018.

We are working on this project with help from organisations including: Children’s Rights Alliance England (CRAE), Children in Wales, Disability Rights UK, Liberty, and Freedom from Torture.

To read the full review please click here.

Age-friendly and inclusive volunteering: Review of community contributions in later life

This review of community contributions in later life from The Centre for Ageing Better calls on charities, voluntary organisations and the public sector to do more to support and sustain the good will and effort of older volunteers.

Over 40% of people over the age of 50 contribute in some way at least once a month, according to the 2018 Community Life Survey. This can include ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ volunteering.

For more information and to download the review go to the Centre’s website

Aid secretary announces new measures to stop abuse and exploitation 

From Civil Society

The international development secretary has announced a raft of measures, including the creation of a passport system for aid workers, at a summit on safeguarding in international aid.

Penny Mordaunt announced that DfID is supporting a pilot led by Interpol, The Association of Chief Police Officers’ Criminal Records Office and Save the Children, to create a system that will prevent sexual predators from moving between aid organisations.

The Interpol pilot, named Operation Soteria, will cost £10m and take five years. DfID has committed £2m.  Mordaunt said that there will be a “disclosure of misconduct scheme across the NGO sector to prevent known perpetrators”. She said 15 aid organisations had already signed up and she hoped this would reach 100 by the end of the year.

Mordaunt said that  the day’s summit was partly to “strengthen capacity and capability” and announced the creation of a resource hub for aid charities.  This will include research, guidance and training for everyone involved in delivering aid and also offer access to specialist investigators.

To read the full article go to Civil Society

To read the transcript of her speech go to the Government website

2018 UK annual report on modern slavery

This report provides an overview of modern slavery in the UK and explains how the UK has responded to this threat over the last 12 months.

You can read the report here

Following on from the publication of this report, the Home Office is writing directly to chief executives of 17,000 businesses telling them to open up about modern slavery in their supply chains, or risk being named as in breach of the law.

Businesses with a turnover of more than £36 million must publish annual transparency statements, known as a Modern Slavery Statement, setting out what they are doing to stop modern slavery and forced labour practices occurring in their business and supply chains.

At the moment, it is estimated that 60% of companies in scope have published a statement. Whilst there are many examples of good practice, some of these statements are poor in quality or fail to even meet the basic legal requirements.

For more information, go to the government website

Sport England: Code for Sports Governance

Organisations seeking public funding for sport and physical activity must meet new gold standards of governance. To help you achieve this take a look at Sport England: Funding to Increase Diversity in Leadership Roles

A Code for Sports Governance sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that will be required from those who ask for Government and National Lottery funding from April 2017.

You can download  A Code for Sports Governance here.


The code has three tiers and will apply to any organisation seeking funding from us or UK Sport, regardless of size and sector, including national governing bodies of sport, clubs, charities and local authorities.

The code is proportionate, expecting the highest standards of good governance from organisations requesting the largest public investments, including:

  • Increased skills and diversity in decision making, with a target of at least 30 per cent gender diversity on boards
  • Greater transparency, for example publishing more information on the structure, strategy and financial position of the organisation
  • Constitutional arrangements that give boards the prime role in decision making.

Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch MP, said: “It is vital that our domestic sports bodies and organisations uphold the very highest standards of governance and lead the world in this area.

To read the full article, please visit the Sport England website here.

Facts and figures: UK charity sector 2018

From nfpSynergy

You asked – they delivered.

The updated version of the essential facts and figures about the UK charity sector at your fingertips, including statistics on volunteering, donations, size of the sector and more. Take a look at the 10 key figures below and download the full article for more from the nfpSynergy website

10 key facts

  1. There are 880,000 paid employees in the charity sector
  2. There are nearly 200,000 registered charities in the UK
  3. The total income of all charities combined is about £48 billion. This is higher than the Higher Education sector, and about £10 billion less than Tesco.
  4. The voluntary sector contributes approximately £15.3bn to UK GVA – more than the arts or agriculture.
  5. The value of formal volunteering in the UK is around £22.6bn
  6. Individuals account for almost half of the sector’s total income
  7. The median for the 100 highest paid positions is £185K per annum
  8. Charities have over 10 regulators
  9. Charities fund almost half of all medical research in the UK
  10. 35% of the total voluntary sector workforce work in the social care subsector

Charities must make changes to Gift Aid from trading arms after SORP update

From Civil Society

Charities cannot now report Gift Aid from their trading arms in their accounts until they actually receive it, unless they have a legal agreement in place, after changes were made to the Charities SORP.

It is one of a number of changes made by UK charity regulators to accounting rules this month and follows recommendations from a review by the Financial Reporting Council in December 2017. Charities will need to comply with this change for accounting periods beginning on or after 5 October.

The SORP committee published a bulletin published on 5 October saying that Gift Aid payments should not be accrued in the accounts of the parent charity “unless a legal obligation for the subsidiary to make the payment exists at the reporting date”.

For more information go to Civil Society

Final report of Charity Commission safeguarding taskforce

In February 2018, the Charity Commission announced a suite of measures to help ensure charities, and the Commission, learned the wider lessons from safeguarding revelations involving Oxfam and other charities, and to strengthen public trust and confidence in charities.

One of these measures was the establishment of an internal taskforce. This report provides a summary of the findings emerging from the work of the taskforce.

Charities submitted a total of 2,114 reports of serious incidents relating to safeguarding incidents or issues between 20 February and 30 September 2018.

To read the report go to the Government website


Hate crime plan refreshed

The Government has published an update to the Hate Crime Action Plan that puts new measures in place.

These new measures include:

  • wide-ranging Law Commission review into hate crime – to explore how to make current legislation more effective and consider if there should be additional protected characteristics, such as misogyny and age
  • new nationwide public awareness campaign to launch later this autumn designed to educate on what hate crime is
  • extending the Home Office Places of Worship Scheme for a further year to support more religious institutions which are vulnerable to hate attacks
  • improving police response by offering call handlers specialist training on how to support hate crime victims and revamping the True Vision reporting website
  • over £1.5 million of further funding for groups such as the Anne Frank Trust and Kick It Out, which support young people to challenge prejudice and hatred
  • anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim roundtables, hosted by ministers, to discuss responses to these issues

The refresh has been designed to address specific concerns across all 5 monitored strands of hate crime:

  • race
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity
  • disability

For more information go to the Government website

Charity Commission releases guidance on reporting serious wrongdoing

From Civil Society

The Charity Commission has published refreshed guidance on whistleblowing and reporting incidences of serious harm, including safeguarding and reputational concerns.

The regulator said it will use these reports to determine if the charity is at risk, and how serious it is. It said it will make a record of these concerns and investigate those that pose the highest risk. It said that when it investigates these concerns it usually works with trustees and the charity to help it get back on track.

You can read the guidance here

You can read the rest of the article here